As I’ve mentioned, from a combination of memories and records I’ve pieced together that in my previous life, I most likely died in a sector in France called L’Epinette. It was a quiet sector compared to the Spring I would have spent at Ypres, and in all probability my luck simply ran out and I was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
But supposing I hadn’t died in France? Most likely, I would have gone to Salonika with the Macedonian campaign.
The Macedonian campaign had a few battles, most of them not particularly well-known, but the better part of it was spent digging into the countryside along the Greek border. It was meant to be a campaign to aid Serbia, but the British divisions- held up by action in France, Belgium, and the ill-fated Gallipoli campaign. Compared to units who stayed at the Western Front, the sources I’ve read seem to hint that the units in the Macedonian campaign didn’t suffer that heavily.
In other words, the worst was probably over once I left the Salient. I could have lived to see the end of the war after all… maybe I let myself get a false sense of security, or maybe that’s just how the dice fell that one day in July 1915. Or maybe it would have been only a temporary reprieve, and I’d be in the same position I’m in now, only listing a cemetery in Greece as the resting place of my former body.
I’m sure there were many stories like mine, men who didn’t fall in the heat of battles like Passchendale and Verdun, but from the odd shell or bullet in a quiet area, fired only as a gesture that hostilities had not ceased. That’s the insanity of war, I suppose, and I can’t really judge the soldier who fired the bullet or shell that got me; once he put on the uniform, he had no choice just like I had no choice at Ypres and whatever horrible things I must have done.
So long as I don’t repeat the same mistakes, I can have a clear conscience. And I hope those men I killed or wounded, if they’ve returned in another life as well, can forgive me for being a part of the same insanity they were.